Chilled Plum Soup with Cashew Cream

by Gena on September 16, 2011

It’s Friday!

In spite of a exam looming on Tuesday, I’m delighted to be facing a weekend. Happy, too, that you all enjoyed the raw nori rolls yesterday—do not fear sushi making, folks! It’s so fun and such an easy way to turn an everyday meal into something beautiful and elegant

It’s September, which means that autumn, my favorite time of year, has officially begun. Today is the first cool and crisp day we’ve had here in the swamps in a long, long time, and I’m excited for all the little details of the coming season: apples, nubby sweaters, boots, scarves, hot cocoa, and, most importantly, the best farmers’ markets of the whole year. Sure, I like a July farmer’s market, with its abundance of berries and heirloom tomatoes, but I think that September is really the best time of year to soak up local produce. You have all of the marvelous bounty of fall rolling in—broccoli, autumn squashes, green beans, kale—and you’ve still got fresh corn, tomatoes by the bushel, and even some late summer peaches. What more could any of us ask for?

Last week, a bunch of plums appeared in M’s produce box. Plums embody the summer/fall transition nicely, since their season spans May-October (depending on where you live, of course). I was glad to have them, but aside from my vegan sugar plum muffins, I really couldn’t think of what to do with them. Then it occurred to me that, as we kiss summer goodbye, we’re also bidding au revoir to the season of chilled soups. I decided to make a dessert soup for a change, featuring these beautiful scarlet fruits. The result—a really simple plum purée, spiced with cinnamon and topped off with cashew cream—was a delicious sweet treat.

Chilled Plum Soup With Cashew Cream (vegan, gluten free and soy free)

Serves 4

5-6 plums, pitted and quartered
1/4 cup dermarara sugar (agave would be alright, too)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp orange juice (optional)
1 tbsp orange zest or 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tbsp arrowroot or tapioca starch

For the cashew cream:

1 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp agave
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) To make the cashew cream, put the soaked cashews in your Vita-Mix or food processor along with the agave, vanilla, and water. Blend until mixture is very creamy.

2) Place plums, sugar, water, OJ, zest, and cinnamon in a medium pot and bring to a boil. When it boils, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

3) Add arrowroot or cornstarch and raise heat slightly. Whisk as you cook for another 5-10 minutes, until soup has thickened a bit and is bubbling.

4) Transfer soup to a blender and blend till very smooth. (Careful! Hot liquid will expand and spatter if you don’t keep your blender lid on very tightly!). Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to fridge and cool completely.

5) To serve, ladle into bowls and top with a swirl of cashew cream. Enjoy either as a sweet accompaniment to lunch, or as a dessert!

Just look at that spectacular hue:

This is the perfect celebration for the end of summer, or a light, bright way to end a richer autumnal meal.

Obvious question: why not raw? Honestly, because I tried making it raw, and didn’t love it; here, simmering the plums really brings out a deeper sweetness and a better texture. But if one of you manages to perfect this soup in the raw, come back and tell us about it!

Looking for other things to do with plums? Give my sugar plum muffins a try!

Have a stellar Friday night, everyone. See you this weekend!

xo

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas September 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm

So when am I coming over and having you make this for me? We eat way too well for students.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

The plum soup sounds great…ironically plums were on sale yesterday at the groc store and I bought about 15! Black and red. If we don’t eat them all first, I think some plum soup is in order!

And great contrast with that WHITE cashew cream on top. So pretty!

And I bet so yummy :)

Have a fabulous weekend and don’t study too hard!

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Ela September 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm

That color is just gorgeous, says ‘autumn’ all over it.

I think it would be difficult to make that ‘raw’ without at least semi-dehydrating half the plums. There’s a richness to the flavor of cooked or dried plums that offsets the tartness. Or, you could add a ton of sweetener but you’d then have to do a lot of tweaking to the texture.

It’s a hard journey for plums and such up to AK but lately there have been some little Italian prunes at the store and I’ve been just adoring them…

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bitt September 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

i’ve never had plum soup, that would be a treat for sure. very pretty color.

i miss fall in new england so much. it’s just the best there. although being in virginia last october, it was nice and crisp and leafy too. but warmer. enjoy it and the produce.

i like putting plums in smoothies too. if you are ever at a loss of what to do with them.

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather September 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Plums are the best right now! I love the color in this soup…. It is gorgeous! Hope you enjoy your weekend :)

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Nikki (fresh young coconut) September 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

That is one beautiful bowl of food. I’m happy that there are so many posts getting all gushy about Fall in the blogosphere today. It’s been chilly and gorgeous in the Northwest and I’m loving it.

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Rachel September 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

This looks absolutely amazing! I have to admit that I never enjoyed falls too much until I came out east. Such a wonderful time of year with the leaves and the crisp air! Good luck on exams. :)

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles September 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm

What gorgeous color! I’ve never really done much with plums, but the way you talk about them I want to try. And I’m always looking for new dessert recipes. Happy Friday, and good luck studying!

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hena tayeb September 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

That looks gorgeous.. and sounds intriguing.. cashew cream.. mmm

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Ali (urbanfruitbat) September 17, 2011 at 1:21 am

How, how how do you have time to make beautiful meals with your school schedule? You are absolutely amazing. This soup looks lovely too!

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Marisa September 17, 2011 at 6:08 am

I’m not a fan of chilled soups, but the color is magnificent! Good luck on your exam!

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Emily September 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

I would never think of making a desert soup! It looks so beautiful!!

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A Tablespoon of Liz September 17, 2011 at 8:59 am

So beautiful, that color is amazing!

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elizabeth September 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

I don’t like the idea of a dessert soup (just cuz I’m still pretty hooked on food combining) but I think this would be a great breakfast.

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melody polakow: Vegan for 3.33 a day September 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

That looks and sounds perfect! Yum!

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Jess @ Jess Go Bananas September 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

I agree! Fall is the best time of year :)

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Emilia @ Namaste Gurl September 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

Plums are long gone over on this end of the coast, but this would be a wonderful recipe come next summer when the plums make their arrival again :) Actually, I have a plum tree, but sadly their range of stay is about 2 weeks in mid July.

Looks delicious and i’m sure was as fantastic as it looks! And I totally ditto what you said: the transition from summer to fall yields some of the greatest produce at the farmer’s market. Just picked up my first apples, squash, however still buying the last of the summer peaches and heirloom tomatoes :)

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maggie September 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Yum!! I really am going to try this with maybe a little jalapeno thrown in the cashew cream…wild I know!!

Megan

FloraChild

http://WWW.MYBREAKFASTBLOG.COM
http://WWW.ETSY.COM/SHOP/FLORACHILD

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Laura September 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Plums are my favorite food, hands down, so I never have any problem figuring out what to do with them. I could eat them all day! We just got back from a farmers market and I am trying to budget out my plums/pluots for the week so I don’t run out before the weekend! This soup looks incredible!

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GetSkinny GoVegan September 17, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I know I should crave the soup which looks REALLY refreshing!! But the muffin at the bottom looks really comforting-plus I have never had a sugar plum anything!!

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VeggieGirl September 18, 2011 at 4:44 am

Good luck with your exam!

Another winning recipe!

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Christine (The Raw Project) September 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

This soups looks wonderful, beautiful colors and pics. It’s inspired me to add plums to my Whole Foods shopping list today. :-)

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